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Wheelchair Sports: Power Soccer & Power Chair Hockey

May 15, 2013
Power wheelchair sports participation has been on the rise in recent years. To the joy of many disabled people, a number of adaptive sports organizations are springing up throughout the country and all over the world.

In a power chair sport, the rules, equipment and playing field are modified to better accommodate people who need to use electric wheelchairs in their daily lives. Power wheelchair athletes have embraced this opportunity to explore their competitive spirit while expanding their independent mobility.

Examples of Adaptive Team Sports                 

Soccer and hockey are two competitive team sports that have been successfully adapted for power wheelchair athletes. A few specifics on how the electric wheelchair versions differ from the traditional games are listed below.

Power Soccer (a.k.a. Power Chair Football)

  • Played indoors, on a regulation-size basketball court
  • Players may only progress the ball by using their power wheelchair
  • It is a game violation for any body part to touch the soccer ball
  • Special footplate bumpers protect the wheelchair and the power chair football players' legs

Power Wheelchair Hockey

  • Also goes by the trademarked name of PowerHockey™
  • Is played on an indoor basketball court (not on ice)
  • Uses an over-sized, large ball instead of a hockey puck
  • Permits taping the hockey stick onto the wheelchair to assist in play

As long as power soccer and power hockey team members have medical clearance to engage in physical play, they may freely enjoy a fun and spirited activity while being fully supported by their electric wheelchairs.

Power Chair Sports: Safety and Benefits

Concern for safety is a priority in competitive sports, especially those involving disabled players.1 Power wheelchair sports require proper equipment, appropriate safeguards and conscientious coaching in order to be of benefit.

Studies show that potential benefits to participating in group activities, particularly power chair team sports, include improvements in:
  • upper body strength
  • range of motion
  • respiratory functioning
  • eye-hand coordination
  • power chair driving skills
  • overall quality of life

And, thanks to individuals working within adaptive sports organizations worldwide, there may soon be a competitive sports activity to benefit almost everyone.

Hoveround power chairs, motorized scooters, assorted mobility solutions and accessories might help you to get back in the game of more independent living. Purchase online or call 1-800-542-7236 for assistance.

For more information on the power wheelchair sports mentioned in this article, please visit:
United States Power Soccer Association 
U.S. EWHA PowerHockey.com

Read this research article from the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development on potential outcomes of power wheelchair soccer participation.

1Power wheelchair sports must be carefully supervised. Use of chest straps, seat belts, helmets, shin guards and other protective supports are highly encouraged to minimize injury risk during a game.

This article is for general informational purposes only. Always consult a physician before engaging in any new, or strenuous, physical activity.

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